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New clues to how HIV avoids body’s attack

Tissue infected with a close relative of HIV can ramp up production of a type of T cell that actually weakens the body’s attack against the invading virus.

The discovery, in lymph nodes draining the intestinal tract, could help explain how the HIV virus evades the body’s immune defenses. The findings, based on a study with monkeys, are reported in the journal AIDS.

If the same pattern is found in people infected with HIV, it could lead to a treatment strategy that slows the production of the restraining type of T cell clearing the way for immune soldiers to go after the virus more aggressively.

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